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South Side board approves student program

The South Williamsport Area School Board approved creation of the Bridges to Learning Program during its meeting this week.

The program is intended to “bridge” the divide between students learning remotely and those attending school in person, according to District Superintendent Dr. Mark Stamm.

Mountie Academy students will be able to attend school in-person as needed for internet access, tutoring and other school-based supports.

The program, available to about 600 students in grades 7 to 12, will allow in-person students to participate in cyber/remote courses through the Academy, dual enrollment, and advanced academic programs.

“It’s to provide the best opportunity we can for our students,” Stamm said.

In other action, school directors voted 4-3 to appoint Ben Brigandi to serve the remaining term of a vacant board seat.

Voting for Brigandi to fill the Region 1 board spot were Todd Engel, Steve Rupert, Cathy Bachman and Steve Shope. Sue Bowman, Diane Cramer and Micah LaBarre voted for Jessica Smith, the other candidate for the position.

Lawrence Fryda withdrew his application for the vacant seat prior to the meeting.

A former Williamsport Sun-Gazette sports editor and a father of children in the district, Brigandi said his strengths include communications skills and experience in dealing with the public.

“I want what is best for the community,” he said. “I want to help.”

Brigandi will serve on the board until Dec. 6, the date of the board’s reorganization meeting.

In personnel action, the board approved the following athletic coaches:

Ryan Brown, junior varsity girls basketball, $3,685; Tyler Watts, varsity wrestling assistant, $3,113; and Chris Lusk, head junior high wrestling, $2,420.

The following were approved as guest teachers: Michael Board, Eric Fraley, Gerald Hammaker, Cheri Ostrom, Jesse Rocco, Matthew Solomon and Lindsey Tawney.

Stamm reported that a community-wide vaccine site, a partnership between the district and UPMC, will be open in the district on one Saturday in each of the months of November and December.

The next school board meeting is set for 6 p.m. Monday, Nov. 15.

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